Akio Toyoda with new Toyota Supra Paul Eisenstein | CNBCToyota CEO Akio Toyoda is an avid motorsports fan who routinely heads out on the track to test the company's latest products, especially high-performance models like the new Supra sports car and the smaller Toyota 86.
It's that profound transformation of the industry, including the push into electric, connected and autonomous vehicles that has caused the Japanese automotive giant to rethink a fundamental tenet of its long-term strategy.
Among others: Toyota announced Aug. 28 it was acquiring a 4.94% stake in Suzuki for 96 billion yen, or $910 million.
In turn, the smaller automaker said it would purchase 0.2% of Toyota's outstanding shares for 48 billion yen, or about $455 million.
Toyota also holds a 5% stake in Mazda while the Hiroshima-based automaker has a 0.25% holding in the bigger company.